Why Josh Brownhill turned down Premier League rivals to join Burnley

Josh Brownhill turned down a move to a rival Premier League club before joining Burnley.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 2:34 pm
Josh Brownhill

The Clarets were almost gazumped for the midfielder’s signature just before the transfer window closed in January.

A club came in offering a better financial package for the player – believed to be West Ham United.

But the 24-year-old had already bought into the ideals of Sean Dyche and the club and decided to stick to his guns.

A clause in Brownhill’s contract made him available for a fee of £7m this summer, and had Burnley waited until the close season, the deal might not have happened at all.

Four other clubs had a strong interest in taking the Bristol City man in the summer, but Burnley timed their business to perfection.

Brownhill’s agent, Burnley-born Phil Ercolano of Cassius Sports, explained: “He didn’t have to move in January, there were a lot of opportunities.

“When we renegotiated his contract about two and a half years ago, we felt he was going to go on to this level, and a buy out clause, in some ways, gives a bit of clarity.

“Had Burnley waited until the summer, it might have passed them by.

“At the 11th hour, a club came in with much bigger wages, probably bright lights, big city. But he remained committed to what the plan was because he bought into Burnley, which is a sign of the character of the person.

“It’s rare in football that.

“He wanted a manager that matched his values, and Sean Dyche definitely ticked that.

“The club, the area - no bias on my part, I wouldn’t sway someone, but it was so aligned, Burnley matched his values and people would recognise him for him.

“And logistically he is the ultimate family man, they are as tight as tight. That was a factor as well.”

Brownhill has had to be patient to make an impression at Turf Moor, with his only appearance coming from the bench in the last minute of the 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Turf Moor in February.

Then the coronavirus pandemic led to the shutdown of all sport.

Brownhill has posted details on social media of some of his training sessions during lockdown, and Ercolano admits he will have to put the reins on the player, as he busts a gut ready to make his mark: “I think everyone has had to stop for the virus, every industry apart from the key sectors.

“From my perspective it’s more about managing players, keeping them focused and not taking their foot off the gas, without pushing them too much because they’re going to have a short off-season.

“Josh is the sort of lad you’ll have to hold back because he’ll burn himself out!

“He’s that committed.

“All he’s been is the new student at school, keeping his head down, and working hard and building relationships and proving he can do it. It’s like gearing up for a concert and then it’s off. But he gets it.”